20 September 2021

'The Modern Politician' by Archibald Lampman

Canadian Illustrated News
28 September 1878

On the day of the 44th Canadian general election, verse from The Poems of Archibald Lampman (Toronto: Morang, 1900). 


          What manner of soul is his to whom high truth
          Is but the plaything of a feverish hour,
          A dangling ladder to the ghost of power!
          Gone are the grandeurs of the world's iron youth,
          When kings were mighty, being made by swords.
          Now comes the transit age, the age of brass,
          When clowns into the vacant empires pass,
          Blinding the multitude with specious words.
          To them faith, kinship, truth and verity,
          Man's sacred rights and very holiest thing,
          Are but the counters at a desperate play,
          Flippant and reckless what the end may be,
          So that they glitter, each his little day,
          The little mimic of a vanished king.

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